The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has been awarded Heritage Lottery funding of £14.7 million to restore the Temperate House, the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse. Kew has been running a public appeal after a Government-commissioned report two years ago found that its condition ‘raises health and- safety concerns’.

Kew’s head of glasshouses Greg Redwood explains: ‘The Temperate House is in a stable condition and in no immediate danger. However, it is in need of substantial restoration.’ At 628ft long, the Grade I-listed Temperate House, which opened in 1863, is twice the size of the Palm House. Although more orthodox in appearance, it was designed by the same architect, Decimus Burton, who embellished the building with decorative effects, including swags of tropical fruits, acanthus-leaf capitals and Coade-stone urns.

The affection in which it continues to be held is reflected in the £7.7 million raised from private donors, in addition to a further £10.4 million from Defra. The project is due for completion in 2018.

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